But money-saving expert, Martin Lewis, has been inundated with queries on social media and TV segments with concerns from furloughed employees about redundancy.
During a segment on This Morning on Thursday, the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com was asked by a viewer about his rights while on furlough after his employer told him that he may be made redundant.
The financial journalist paused before answering before replying: “You’re not going to like the answer.”
He explained the furlough scheme extension and the implications for workers after July when the Government will reduce it’s 80 per cent contribution and employers will be expected to contribute to wages.
It’s not known how much this will be yet, but the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is due to reveal the full details of the furlough extension by the end of May.
Martin went on to explain how employers are perfectly within their rights to make people redundant even while they are on furlough or coming back from it.
He also said that if an employee has been with the company for two years, they should go through a consultation period – that’s their legal right.
The consultation period lasts 45 days, but Martin explained to viewers that with the furlough rules changing at the end of July, there are employers “talking to people now” about potential redundancies after that time.
Employers will need to contribute more to employee salaries from August 1, so it’s likely that talks of redundancy will start now so that they don’t incur the additional costs for these workers.
Martin also explained that the accrual of holidays is one of the main things costing employers at the moment, because they are paid at full salary, rather than the reduced furlough rate.
Martin didn’t seem to have much hope for this moving forward and told the viewer: “I wish I could give you a better answer.”
Martin urged viewers to work with their employers and ask them to keep them on until October.
He also said that people will need all the support they can get over the coming months and that they should brace themselves, saying that because of coronavirus, the UK will likely experience a depression with a “severity never seen before”.
The latest statistics from the UK Government show that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected over 7.5 million workers and almost one million businesses.
The scheme is costing the UK Government an estimated £14 billion per month.